Earthquake hits NY region, 4.8 magnitude hits hard

Earthquake hits NY region, 4.8 magnitude hits hard

New York (Reuters) Despite unusual seismic activity, the U.S. Geological Survey reported a 4.8-magnitude earthquake in New York City on Friday morning, shaking buildings up and down the East Coast and startled people.

The earthquake's epicenter occurred near Tewksbury, central New Jersey, 40 miles (64 kilometers) west of New York City. The USGS reported it at 4.7 kilometers (2.9 miles) about 10:20 a.m. ET (1420 GMT).

According to the USGS, a 4.0 aftershock occurred at 5:59 p.m.

No substantial damage was recorded, although engineers inspected roads and bridges.

"This is one of the largest earthquakes on the East Coast in the last century," stated New York Governor Kathy Hochul during a press conference.

No injuries were recorded, however Mayor Eric Adams advised people to take refuge behind furniture, in a doorway, or next to an interior wall if they felt aftershocks.

"New Yorkers should go about their normal day," he told reporters.

Baltimore to Boston residents reported rumbling and trembling, with some hurrying outside to find the source.

The 38-year-old Bronx resident Charita Walcott described the tremor as "like a violent rumble that lasted about 30 seconds or so."

"It was kind of like being in a drum circle, that vibration," remarked.

James Pittinger, mayor of Lebanon, New Jersey, near the quake's epicenter, said residents were frightened but not injured.

"I was sitting in my home office when things started to fall off the walls and shelves," said Pittinger. "It was a crazy experience."

The White House says President Joe Biden talked with New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy about the earthquake and will help if required.

When cameras started shaking, the Save the Children CEO stopped speaking before the Security Council on the Israel-Gaza conflict at the UN in midtown Manhattan.

"You're making the ground shake," joked Palestinian UN ambassador Riyad Mansour.

The Federal Aviation Administration said that flights resumed at nearby airports about 12:30 p.m. following the earthquake. Remaining delays were predicted.

Friday's quake was the city's strongest since a 2011 5.8-magnitude Virginia earthquake that forced City Hall and other buildings to evacuate and damaged Washington.

Earthquakes release more than 30 times more energy per whole number because magnitudes are logarithmic.

Friday's earthquake was 1,000 times weaker than a 1989 6.9 magnitude earthquake that shook baseball's World Series and San Francisco.

The USGS says eastern U.S. earthquakes are felt across a wider region because the bedrock is older and tougher, transmitting seismic energy more easily. Western U.S. rocks are newer and have more earthquake-absorbing faults.

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